Artificial Intelligence in Society


OECD (2019). Artificial Intelligence in Society. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved June 22, 2019 from

Work data:

ISBN: 978-92-64-54519-9

Type of work: Report


ICT Infrastructure


The artificial intelligence (AI) landscape has evolved significantly from 1950 when Alan Turing first posed the question of whether machines can think. Today, AI is transforming societies and economies. It promises to generate productivity gains, improve well-being and help address global challenges, such as climate change, resource scarcity and health crises. Yet, as AI applications are adopted around the world, their use can raise questions and challenges related to human values, fairness, human determination, privacy, safety and accountability, among others. This report helps build a shared understanding of AI in the present and near-term by mapping the AI technical, economic, use case and policy landscape and identifying major public policy considerations. It is also intended to help co-ordination and consistency with discussions in other national and international fora.


From the executive summary:

  • Machine learning, big data and computing power have enabled recent AI progress.
  • AI systems predict, recommend or decide an outcome to influence the environment.
  • AI can improve productivity and help solve complex problems.
  • AI investment and business development are growing rapidly.
  • AI applications abound, from transport to science to health.
    • In the transport sector, autonomous vehicles with virtual driver systems, highdefinition maps and optimised traffic routes all promise cost, safety, quality of life and environmental benefits.
    • Scientific research uses AI to collect and process large-scale data, to help reproduce experiments and lower their cost, and to accelerate scientific discovery.
    • In healthcare, AI systems help diagnose and prevent disease and outbreaks early on, discover treatments and drugs, propose tailored interventions and power selfmonitoring tools.
    • In criminal justice, AI is used for predictive policing and assessing reoffending risk.
    • Digital security applications use AI systems to help automate the detection of and response to threats, increasingly in real time.
    • AI applications in agriculture include crop and soil health monitoring and predicting the impact of environmental factors on crop yield.
    • Financial services leverage AI to detect fraud, assess credit-worthiness, reduce customer service costs, automate trading and support legal compliance.
    • In marketing and advertising, AI mines data on consumer behaviour to target and personalise content, advertising, goods and services, recommendations and prices.
  • Trustworthy AI is key to reaping AI’s benefits.
  • AI is a growing policy priority for all stakeholders.